Published On: Wed, Jul 17th, 2019

Luzerne County Man, Derek Spaide Sentenced to 14 Years for Armed Bank Robbery

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Derek Spaide, age 27, of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on July 15, 2019, by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion to 14 years’ imprisonment for the armed robbery of a bank in Luzerne County.

Photo/Thomas Breher

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Spaide previously pleaded guilty to the charges of armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in connection with the robbery of the Luzerne National Bank in Plains Township, Luzerne County, which occurred on May 16, 2018.  On that date, Spaide placed a t-shirt over his face, entered the bank, pointed a rifle at bank employees, and demanded money.  Approximately $8,204 was taken in the robbery.  Spaide then entered a vehicle driven by his co-defendant, Gerald Pambianco, age 29, of Plains Township, and a high-speed chase with the police ensued.  Police were able to disable the getaway vehicle on Route 309 in Plains Township.  Spaide then fled from the disabled vehicle and attempted to enter the vehicle of a bystander stopped in traffic.  Spaide was then apprehended by the police.

Gerald Pambianco is awaiting sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Plains Township Police Department, and the Hanover Township Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O’Hara prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce crime.

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